The annual Cedartown International Wheelchair 5K is returning to College Street in the coming months, but instead of being a chance for athletes to train ahead of Atlanta’s big July 4th race it is coming after this year.
Organizer Dave Grove said that local residents can get ready for all the action this year on July 5 as they take to race course that starts and finishes at Peek Park in Cedartown.
“It’s a little different than usual,” he said. “The reason for that is that the athletes have to be in Atlanta by Tuesday, and so racing on Monday night would have been difficult.”
The race, now in its 19th year, has only taken breaks in the past to allow for athletes to compete in the paralympics, held in conjunction with the Olympic games every four years.
“We’re telling the athletes to come with us and stay an extra day,” Grove said. “Get the Peachtree race over with on Wednesday, come race with us on Thursday and we’ll take you back to the airport on Friday.”
It is a race that usually attracts competitors from all across the globe, ranging from next door neighbors in Mexico to wheelchair athletes from Europe and many more places in between.
Grove said some training on Friday, along with lunch and a pool party are also scheduled for athletes this year.
It will always remain the same race course since it is certified by US Track and Field, and because the course is designed in such a way can set record times.
“We already have the world’s fastest times,” Grove said.
Organizing meetings are underway for this year’s event, and Grove is seeking out additional volunteers to help with athletes and to help during the race on July 5.
Last year’s race saw Daniel Romanchuk take the top prize with a finishing time in the 5K of just 10:31.55 and only yards ahead of local favorite and long time racer, Krige Schabort.
Those interested in helping with the event can get in touch with Grove at facebook.com/CWATC.